Trading in Africa

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Intra-Africa trade and investment unlike the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) where only one winner will emerge, is not zero-game. Zero-sum game, from game theory in economics, is a situation where one person’s gain is equivalent to the loss of another. Trade between several individuals, businesses or countries is an example of non-zero-sum game; no one winner takes it all, all who take part stand to benefit.

Africa has been trading tackles (playing matches in the jargon of football commentators) for over 60 years. But trade between African countries has been minimal; until the past decade. Between 2003 and 2011 intra-Africa investment, the best measure of trade across borders, has seen a decent uptick as Dangote Cement and banks from Nigeria, telecommunications companies from Egypt and South Africa expand across the continent. With AfCFTA more goods and services will flow across African borders from Cape Town to Cairo.

Football matches are notable for their pre- and post-match drama – the introduction of video assistant referees (VARs) has now raised the level of debates by a few decibels. The voice of Nigerians was perhaps the highest on Thursday after we squeezed past South Africa into the semi-finals with a late goal.

Last week, Nigeria decided to sign the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) after one year of unnecessary shakara typical of Nigerians for whom hard-headedness is one form of many modes for survival, a show; all swagger and bombast.

Across Africa Nollywood, Afrobeats, pastors, traders, fashion and boisterousness are associated with Nigeria; and fraud too, unfortunately. I remember a saying of my grandfather which my mother quoted often: Wherever in the world you go, first ask if there is a Nigerian there, if there is none, don’t stay there, it probably won’t be worth your … Read More...